The Town of Strathmore is looking out for the future in case of a water emergency.

During last night's council meeting, it was voted that the town would authorize the transfer of $200,000 from the Financial Stabilization Reserve to have as a contingency in case Strathmore needs to act on a water emergency related to the City of Calgary water main break.

"Our Emergency Coordination Center is currently working with our partners and legal advisors on engaging the province's Disaster Recovery program and other mechanisms in terms of cost recovery," explained Riley Brolly, manager of financial planning and budgeting with the town. 

Brolly explains that the preliminary allocation includes potential expenditures for which the money would be used.

"In the unlikely event that we need to truck water to our residents, we estimated we'd need 30 tri-axle trucks doing four dumps a day, which would cost us about $120,000 in water and trucking per day." 

Brolly said that it would also cover things like overtime costs for staff, even though they are not known yet either. 

"Lifeguards from our closed facilities can be redeployed to assist. The Town Services might look after things like painting, weed control, Canada Day prep stuff like that, which would cost us about $9600 a week, full-time."

According to Brolly, in terms of implementation, the administration will track costs incurred, engage the province in eligibility for the Disaster Recovery program funding, and explore other mechanisms for cost recovery. 

During the meeting, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Kevin Scoble commented on the potential of water being trucked in.

"The way we've structured this is that it gives us one day of trucking. We have two, probably three, days of storage in our reservoir in the current conditions."

Scoble added that in the worst-case scenario, which they don't anticipate will happen, they would need a special council meeting within 24-48 hours to get authorization to spend more on trucking. 

"This is just meant to carry us over should that worst case happen, and then we'll keep the council informed and seek more funding if that situation should occur." 

Councillor Brent Wiley then had a motion ready for council to vote on.

"I move that council approves the transfer of $200,000 from the Financial Stabilization Reserve to fund operating costs related to the June 2024 Calgary water main break incident. On the understanding that the administration is currently exploring the possibility of recovery of eligible expenses through the provinces Disaster Recovery program or other forms of claim or reimbursement from our partners."

Wiley then spoke about the motion, starting out with a thank you.

"I just want to extend a big thank you to our CAO, senior leadership team, the Emergency Coordination staff, and anyone else in the administration. That has had to be busily engaged, giving up weekends and having late nights by the sound of it, making sure that this contingency is all thought out carefully. There's just been so much good planning and excellent communication. I'm just so pleased. So, thank you." 

The motion was carried unanimously. 

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